Taw Torridge field trip to Parracombe & Shallowford on 23 April

Fifteen of us gathered on a sunny morning for a walk in the Parracombe area, lead by Margaret Phillips who has been recording birds on this route for the BTO’s Breeding Bird Survey for the past 15 years.

We began by walking along an ancient track lined with mature Beech, Oak and Sycamore, birds were singing and we soon had Greenfinch, Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler and several Blackcaps, a Nuthatch joined in and then a yaffling Green Woodpecker.

We continued over the old Lynton to Barnstaple railway line passing the thirteenth century church of St Petroc, with violets, primroses and bluebells flowering in profusion along the way.

We then headed towards the open common where the gorse in full bloom scented the air, with Swallows and House Martins swooping overhead and a Skylark singing, adding to our sense of wellbeing.

After a picnic lunch we continued to Shallowford where a moorland stream runs down to join Barbrook, a favourite spot for common redpoll. They were not seen but we did have Redstart, Linnet, Wheatear, Willow Warbler, Reed Bunting with Swallows and Skylark overhead. 

Thank you once again to Margaret for showing us ‘her patch’ and another lovely day birding.          

Total species 46                            Jackie Bosley